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Texas Declaration of Independence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Texas Declaration of Independence
Declaration Broadside from transparency 1909 1 344.jpg
1836 facsimile of the Texas Declaration of Independence
CreatedMarch 2, 1836
LocationEngrossed copy: Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Signatories60 delegates to the Consultation
PurposeTo announce and explain separation from Mexico

The Texas Declaration of Independence was the formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in the Texas Revolution. It was adopted at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, and formally signed the next day after mistakes were noted in the text.

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It’s not quite common knowledge that what is now part of the United States, was once part of Mexico, and Mexico, part of Spain. Of course the Spanairds conquered it from the Aztecs, who took it from the Toltecs, who took it from the Mayans, who took it from the Olmecs, etc. But what we’re concerned about in this video is how Texas, once a territory in Mexico – became its own country. It all started when Mexico gained its independence from Spain which occurred around 50 years after the U.S. gained its independence from Great Britain. In 1821 Mexico concluded its war of independence and became a its own country, which was founded on a federalist system of government, that gave control to both Mexico’s states and federal government. Texas was one of these states and was given a lot of autonomy in its ability to control itself. Because of its tiny population and distance from Mexico City, Mexico’s government started a settlement program in the hopes that Texas would become more developed and be able to integrate with the more populous regions of Mexico. Part of this settlement program was allowing foreigners to purchase land in Texas for little money. The only conditions that they were given were that they had to live in Texas for 10 years, they had to be loyal to the Mexican government, and they had to accept Catholicism as their own religion. One American, named Stephen Austin, from Virginia accepted this deal and was given a lot of land on the condition that he would bring more settlers into Texas. By 1830, Austin was able to bring over 10,000 white Americans who came to Texas and lived alongside the Mexican Tejano population of 4,000. The Mexican government was happy with how its settlement program was going, but was also becoming very cautious at this stage. After all the Mexican population of Texas was less than half that of the white Anglo population. Many Americans settling in Texas were also protestant, patriots of the U.S. and from slave states – which is important to note because Mexico had made it illegal to practice slavery in its country. In 1833 Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana was elected president and began to centralize the power of the Mexican government back to the capital in Mexico City. The federal system weakened and states like Texas were now being controlled from the capital. Because of this, Austin went to the capital in protest, requesting that Texas get its autonomy back. Unfortunately for Austin, he was jailed. However, when he was released and back in Texas, serious rebellion began to occur and the Mexican soldiers stationed in Texas were pushed back to Mexico City. Santa Ana became furious and took command of the army. By February, 1836, his troops had passed the Nueces River, which was the traditional border of Texas and made his way to the Alamo in San Antonio where the Texan Rebels were holed up. Most of the rebels in the Alamo, however, were not Texans. In fact of the 180 rebel soldiers, only 29 were Texas, 28 were European, and the remainders were Americans. This makes me wonder, what incentive did any Americans or Europeans have for fighting on the side of the Texan rebels? It was here in 1836 that Texas became independent of Mexico. However, in several years, after war with Mexico, the U.S. would claim Texas for its own. Thank you for watching the video if you enjoyed it hit the thumbs up button below and hit the subscribe button to stay updated with Thought Monkey videos.



In October 1835, settlers in Mexican Texas launched the Texas Revolution.

However, within Austin, many struggled with understanding what the ultimate goal of the Revolution was. Some believed that the goal should be total independence from Mexico, while others sought the reimplementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (which offered greater freedoms than the centralist government declared in Mexico the prior year).[1] To settle the issue, a convention was called for March 1836.

This convention differed from the previous Texas councils of 1832, 1833, and the 1835 Consultation. Many of the delegates to the 1836 convention were young men who had only recently arrived in Texas from the United States, in violation of Mexico's immigration ban of April, 1830, although many of them had participated in one of the battles in 1835. The only two known native Texans to sign are Jose Francisco Ruiz and Jose Antonio Navarro. [2] Most of the delegates were members of the War Party and were adamant that Texas must declare its independence from Mexico.[3] Forty-one delegates arrived in Washington-on-the-Brazos on February 28.[3]


The convention was convened on March 1 with Richard Ellis as president.[4] The delegates selected a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence; the committee was led by George Childress and also included Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney. The committee submitted its draft within a mere 24 hours, leading historians to speculate that Childress had written much of it before his arrival at the Convention.[5]

The declaration was approved on March 2 with no debate. Based primarily on the writings of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the declaration proclaimed that the Mexican government "ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived"[6] and complained about "arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny".[7] Throughout the declaration are numerous references to the United States laws, rights, and customs. Omitted from the declaration was the fact that the author and many of the signatories were citizens of the United States, occupying Texas illegally, and therefore had no legal rights in the government of Mexico. The declaration makes clear that the men were accustomed to the laws and privileges of the United States, and were unfamiliar with the language, religion, and traditions of the nation that they were rebelling against.

The declaration officially established the Republic of Texas, although it was not officially recognized at that time by any government other than itself. The Mexican Republic still claimed the land and considered the delegates to be invaders.

Among others, the declaration mentions the following reasons for the separation:

Based upon the United States Declaration of Independence, the Texas Declaration also contains many memorable expressions of American political principles:

  • "the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen."
  • "our arms ... are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."


Replica of the building at Washington-on-the-Brazos where the Texas Declaration was signed. An inscription reads: "Here a Nation was born".
Replica of the building at Washington-on-the-Brazos where the Texas Declaration was signed. An inscription reads: "Here a Nation was born".
The New Republic
The New Republic

Sixty men signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Three of them were born in Mexico. Fifty-seven of the sixty moved to Texas from the United States.[9] Ten of them had lived in Texas for more than six years, while one-quarter of them had been in the province for less than a year.[8] This is significant, because it indicates that the majority of signatories had moved to Texas after the Law of April 6, 1830, banning immigration, had taken effect, meaning that the majority were legally citizens of the United States, occupying Texas illegally. Fifty-nine of these men were delegates to the Convention, and one was the Convention Secretary, Herbert S. Kimble, who was not a delegate.

See also


  1. ^ Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 98.
  2. ^ BERNICE, STRONG, (15 June 2010). "RUIZ, JOSE FRANCISCO". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 142.
  4. ^ Davis (1982), p. 38.
  5. ^ Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 144.
  6. ^ Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 145.
  7. ^ Roberts and Olson (2001), p. 146.
  8. ^ a b Scott (2000), p. 122.
  9. ^ "Texas Declaration of Independence". Retrieved 15 May 2015.


External links

This page was last edited on 17 June 2019, at 04:55
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